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Zion NP - Anyone been?

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Offline andrwtzel

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Zion NP - Anyone been?
« on: May 08, 2017, 08:38:58 AM »
Anyone here have any experience with Zion NP?

I am looking at probably a week trip out there this summer. Plan is to hit the Narrows and also Angel's Landing. Alternatively, I am playing around with the idea of the trans-Zion backpacking trail (runs across both parts of the park).

Looks like the terrain and climate is similar to BIBE. Also seems that the park is significantly more crowded than BIBE and that the shuttle service looks like the best bet.

Would love to hear any tips from anyone who has been...


Offline DesertRatShorty

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Re: Zion NP - Anyone been?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2017, 10:17:04 AM »
I spent a week there two years ago in early May. I spent two nights up on the East Rim (an out and back from Zion Canyon with day hikes along the Deertrap and Cable Mountain trails),  then two nights at the Watchman Campground (reserved in advance) with a day hike up the Narrows in between, followed by three nights doing the western traverse from Zion Canyon to the far western entrance. I reserved my campsite in Kolob Canyon in advance, but the other permits I was able to get walking up. I did have to fib a little bit and say my western traverse trip started the day before it actually did. The West Rim is the most popular backpacking destination, so if you can get a reservation for one of those sites it would be helpful. There is very little water up on the East Rim, in fact I had to carry all of my water. There are three reliable water sources doing the western traverse, roughly equally spaced, plus you can cash water near the midpoint, making for lighter pack weights. I used Red Rock Shuttle to pick me up at the end of my hike and bring me back to the visitor center. I would highly recommend them.

It was a great trip and indeed comparable to Big Bend in several ways. The downside of Zion from a backpacker's point of view is that most of the other long-distance routes in the park require canyoneering skills. If anyone can suggest any other multi-day backpacking trips in Zion that don't require canyoneering I'd be quite interested.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 10:44:14 AM by DesertRatShorty »
I roamed and rambled, and I foller'ed my footsteps
   To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
   And all around me a voice was a'sounding
   This land was made for you and me


Offline mule ears

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Re: Zion NP - Anyone been?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2017, 11:01:16 AM »
DRS pretty much hit all the important points.  I have done both East entrance down to the canyon and in two separate trips the Kolob canyon area and the West Rim.  It is higher elevation, cooler and more trees than Big Bend, more like the Chisos and there will be a ton of people to deal with.  The views, in general, from the West Rim and trails leading to it are far grander than the East Rim.  You might consider a reverse of DRS and go from the Kolob canyon area down to the canyon, using the shuttle he recommends.  The shuttle in the canyon is marvelous for getting around up and down canyon.  If you do the West Rim then you can catch Angels Landing then and if the East rim then you can also include Observation Point.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water


Offline PacingTheCage

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Re: Zion NP - Anyone been?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2017, 11:28:19 AM »
Went to Zion last May with 4 hiking friends.  Really nice. We did a variety of day hikes rather than any overnigth hikes.  Enjoyed them all.  It's crowded.  Going out early helps.  The water was high so could not do the Narrows.  The shuttle service is great!  You won't see as many people in Kolub Canyon as you will in the main park.

An early start for Angel's landing is recommended because it really gets crowded.  The last stop before you go up Angel's Landing looks like the final camp before assualting Everest!  People everywhere.  Negotiating who is going to hug the rock and/or pass on the outside can be challenging.  Ran across one guy who was frozen with fear and hanging on for dear life on one of the cables.  He was there when I went up and there when I came back.  Many of us tried to talk him through the process but he was non-responsive.  Rangers were called and I assume they, or someone, got him safely down.

My favorite hike was up to Observation Point.  We began in the valley.  Beautiful hike.



Offline catz

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Re: Zion NP - Anyone been?
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2017, 03:34:36 PM »

Personally, I think Observation Point is better than Angel's Landing.  Essentially the same view but nowhere near as busy.  Plus you can take the Hidden Canyon side hike on the way up or back down.

Wake me when it's time to go.



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